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What is multiculturalism? It is defined that as particular cultures do not monopolize on knowledge and also represent great values, each culture has much to learn through conversation with people from different countries (Parekh,1999). According to the Guardian (2018a), there are 258 million people who migrated to other countries in 2017. It means that one in thirty people leave their country of birth and live abroad. In other words, the majority of people are easily able to see the multiculturalism in their surrounding such as a workplace, school. Multiculturalism has been a controversial topic all over the world. Some people argue that multiculturalism has negative effects on our society. However, others said that multiculturalism has more benefits than disadvantages over the world. This essay will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of multiculturalism classifying some of the various areas such as culture, society and economics and will certify that the benefits of multiculturism overweigh the drawbacks.
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Firstly, when it comes to society, racism is one of the significant drawbacks of multiculturalism. According to a study by the TUC (Trade Union Congress, 2017) trade union body, more than one-third of black or ethnic minority employees said that they had experienced racism at their workplace. Also, they have suffered from a racist joke made by their colleagues. For instance, in the United State, a worker who is black has experienced the racist joke made by his colleagues. Unfortunately, after submitting his grievance about racism, his work became more difficult because of negative attention like ignoring his opinion (BBC, 2017a). Another example of racism is that according to BBC (2017b), an international student from South Korea faced racism in Brighton. While the Korean had been walking down the street, a stranger threw a bottle of wine at him. And when the Korean asked why, the stranger responded “because you are Asian” after then, this led to bickering. As a result, Korean’s teeth were broken and 10 are loose. More seriously, these experiences of racial discrimination are closely related to mental health. When people had been exposed to disclination in their surrounding such as school, firm, the street, they were measured by a higher level of psychological distress and displayed the classic symptoms of depression. As a result, people who have experienced racism do not trust people except their family and these impacts have negative on people’ ability to work or study (R. Williams and Williams-Morris, 2000).
To solve this problem, an institution such as company and school should provide general awareness training about race and ethnicity. Because Education provides the cognitive skill to people, which can make them understand the world of nature and the interaction of people (Hagendoorn and Nekuee, 2018). There is one example of racism training. In the Starbucks located in the United State, there is one accident that two black men were arrested as they were sitting in a store without any orders. So, this racism incident made more than 8,000 Starbucks to close for a day to provide their workers with video training about race and ethnicity. Also, they established the rule and guideline that employee receive (the Guardian,2018b).
Another serious drawback of multiculturalism is that some people can face losing own culture in a multicultural society. In particular, the loss of the native language is one of the problems (Kouritzin,1999). Guardado (2002) said that children who learn a new language before the age of five give up their native language to learn their second language. As a result, the majority of people who immigrated to other countries at an early age lose their mother tongue. For example, a Korean student who was immigrated to Canada at the early age said that her teacher in ESL (English Second Language) class suggested only speaking English at home to her parents because of learning English quickly. As a result, she has not needed to speak the mother tongue any more (Kouritzin.1999).
To fix this issue, the organization provides an opportunity for similar country people to work together. Fillmore (2000) said that when people from similar or the same country are gathered together, they can protect their culture by speaking their native language. For example, immigrant communities in the United States has been an important role of protecting heritage language and supporting cultural program (Fillmore,2000).
Kellner (2011) suggests that as people from different countries have lived together, mass media such as television, the internet is one of the ways to share and understand different cultures. It also plays a role in spreading culture in different countries. By spreading culture to other nations, people’s perceptions of other countries change positively. For instance, in recent years, Korean culture has spread to many different countries. This culture diffusion is called “Hallyu”. Korea has had many positive effects through it. In particular, in Hong Kong among many countries, it plays an important role to change the perception of Hong Kong residents positively. Approximately 73 per cent of the residences in Hong Kong said that Korean cultures such as Korea TV drama, Korean pop music and Korea food make the perception of Korea friendly and positive. Also, more than 50 per cent of Hong Kongese has experienced to visit Korea previously (Kim et al. 2008). Besides sharing culture can make people’ perceptions friendly. For instance, the number of Italians who immigrated to The United State increased from 25,000 in 1870 to 4 million in 1924 (Alonso,2007). As a result, as many Italians have settled in the USA, Italian food has become as familiar as people can find Italian restaurants all over the United State (Mariani, 2011).
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Furthermore, sharing different cultures with people lead to benefits in economics. Particularly, it has a positive effect on the tourism industry positively because Bae et al (2017) said that people who have experienced culture indirectly through mess media want to experience the culture first hand. For example, 50 per cent of people who visited Scotland chose a resort where was appeared in Scottish television drama, films. And in New Zealand, after premiering of the movie “The Lord of the Rings” in 2001, the number of foreign sightseers increased by approximately 6 percentages for a year (Mintel, 2003). It means that culture such as film, TV drama has become a popular tourist attraction. When people watch a movie and TV drama, they become interested in locations of places which appear in the movie and TV drama. So, they turn into tourists to visit the place (Bae et al. 2017). So, it means that the tourism industry has been significantly influenced by sharing cultures such as films and TV dramas.
Moreover, working with diverse ethnicity has a positive effect on the employee of a company. By working with people from different countries, when people face a difficult problem, they can come up with creative solutions. According to Nasir (2006), each culture has different views and perspectives because people in each culture have different cognitive and teaching style also, people in different counties have a different communicative process. For example, Americans believe that “time is money” and “getting to the bottom line” are principal in the business. But, people in different countries think “time is for making relationships”. It shows that people from different countries have different preselection on the same topic. So, by gathering different perspectives, they can make the best solution to difficult problems (Lee,2009).
Also, language abilities are essential in the global marketplace. Lee (2009) said that although English is the official language of the world, many countries in the world speak a non-English language. For example, the number of people who speak Hindustani as the first language is the highest among all over the world, followed by English speakers. So, when expanding the company abroad, people from other culture can help the company to understand not just their words, but also, the meaning of words. These advantages also have positive effects on the company’s profits and productivity (Lee,2009).
In summary, Multiculturalism has both advantages and disadvantages. Considering the society, culture and economics, multiculturism has a few disadvantages such as racism and losing the first language. However, there are more benefits such as changing people’ perception positively, increasing tourism industry and positive effects on company profits and productivity. In the long run, the rate of immigration has been increasing therefore, multiculturalism is an inevitable consequence. Also, the drawbacks of multiculturalism can be fixed by institutions’ efforts to solve racism and by spending time to use the language to prevent losing mother tough. This essay draws attention to a lot of advantages in multiculturalism explaining benefits on culture and economy through sharing culture. So, people should create a better world for future generations by solving the negative sides of multiculturalism and emphasizing the benefits of sharing culture.
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